Opinion

Ride the yellow bus: It's safer

Did you know students are back in school? Sixty to 75 percent are traveling to and from school by bus.

Yellow flashing lights on a school bus mean caution, slow down and prepare to stop.

Red flashing lights mean the school bus is loading or unloading passengers. Oncoming and following traffic must stop and remain so, until the lights have stopped flashing (unless the bus is stopped on a divided road or a road of three or more lanes).

Students should always stay out of the "danger zone" of a school bus: Stay 10 feet in front of the bus when crossing, stay 10 feet away from the side of the bus and never cross behind the bus for any reason.

Riding in a yellow school bus is 172 times safer than riding in a passenger car (according to national statistics, provided by Dr. Cal LeMon). A national average of 38 children are killed each year because of violence at school, but 861 (more than 20 times that number) are killed in passenger cars during school hours. Please encourage your children to ride the bus. It is the safest mode of transportation in the nation.

The Riverview School District encompasses an area of 250 square miles. It is an area of sparsely populated, rural roads. Many of these roads are "dead ends." We also have many geographical obstacles to route around, like the Tolt and Snoqualmie rivers. These conditions make transportation expensive. We need a full and accurate ridership count in order to receive all the state monies that we are entitled to. This will allow us to continue to maintain the excellent safety record we have established.

In Washington, school districts receive state transportation funding by conducting a morning ridership headcount each year. This actual ridership headcount is performed over a five-day period during the last two weeks of September. This year Riverview's count will be done Sept. 24-28. Please help ensure the safety of our children by encouraging them to ride the safest mode of transportation in the nation.

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